Congressmen sympathy fast for Morong 43

PARTYLIST representatives and their staff today launched a daily sympathy fast in Congress to support the ongoing hunger strike of the 43 health workers illegally arrested last February who are now on hunge strike to press for their release.

“In solidarity with the Morong 43, we are holding our own sympathy fast here in Congress. Starting today, December 8, we pledge to skip our daily lunch and, as far as practicable, take only water and biscuits for the duration of the day. In this way, we hope to add to the widespread clamor for their release,” said Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño said Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano.

The two congressmen joined by their staff congregated at the North Wing lobby from 12-1 p.m. today bringing with them bottled water and soda crackers to show their daily fast.

Casiño said more congreessmen and House employees are expected to join the fast. He said they will be gathering pledges in this regard.

Last week, 50 members of the House signed a paid advertisment calling for the immediate release of the Morong 43. “We expect them to be consistent in their position and join the sympathy fast in whatever capacity they can,” said  Casiño.

The progressive lawmaker also accused Pres. Benigno Aquino III of having a “double standard on human rights as shown in his haste to grant amnesty to AFP soldiers who rose against the government while leaving 43 health workers illegally arrested and detained by the AFP to rot in jail.”

President Benigno Aquino III has in fact stated that the Morong 43 were arrested based on a defective warrant and the Department of Justice’s findings that they suffered physical and psychological torture while in detention, there is no reason why they should continue to suffer their unjust detention any longer.

“The Morong 43 have appealed to President Aquino to effect their release by ordering the DOJ to withdraw the charges against them, to no avail. Left with no recourse, they started an indefinite hunger strike to press for their freedom last December 3. We hope that our colleagues in the House can join us in this sympathy fast for the Morong 43, and for justice and human rights in the country,” Casiño said. D’Jay Lazaro

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